4-8 #Flowers: Softbank predicts that 15 of the companies that the SoftBank Vision Fund has backed will go bankrupt; Foxconn will make ventilators with U.S. firm Medtronic Plc; etc.

Chipsets

Intel has said it is pledging USD50M in additional cash and resources to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic. The company will focus on accelerating access to technology for patient care, scientific research, and online learning. (VentureBeat, Intel, CN Beta)

MediaTek and Samsung Electronics are both vying for mid-range and entry-level 5G smartphone chips from Huawei, which intends to further reduce its dependence on Qualcomm in 2020, according to Digitimes. (Gizmo China, Digitimes, Digitimes, Yahoo)

ASE Technology has entered the supply chain of ZTE, providing advanced backend technology to volume process 5G base station chips developed in house by the Chinese vendor, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

Huawei Technologies will be installing a Cloud and AI Business Group in Korea in 2020 in a bid to penetrate the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) server market currently dominated by NVIDIA. The business group may allegedly later be spun off for further growth. (My Drivers, CN Tech Post, The Elec)

Touch Display

Xiaomi has filed a design patent with the Chinese Patent Office, CNIPA, regarding a new UI of a smartphone with a waterfall display on either side. The display on the sides can show general status icons like battery indicator and network strength on the home screen. (Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital, CN Beta, Android Authority)

Samsung is due to launch the latest iteration of its original foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold later in 3Q20. Samsung will reportedly offer a model with 256GB of base storage at a lower price point. (GizChina, Sam Mobile)

Samsung’s patent reveals a new display technology with curved edges on all four corners. Generally, a curved display was prominent only on the sides. However, Samsung seems to be extending the screen beyond the lower chin and upper notches as well. (Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital, IT Home)

Camera

A new phone equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 7250 (765 series) and camera of 192MP is allegedly being launched in May 2020. Qualcomm has previously confirmed that its Snapdragon 865 supports 200MP and is working with partners on a 200MP sensor. (GSM Arena, Android Authority, Weibo)

Alibaba DAMO Academy has announced that its self-developed image signal processing (ISP) processor for in-vehicle cameras to ensure autonomous vehicles have better “sight” at night and “see” more clearly, thereby greatly improving the safety. The ISP is based on DAMO’s 3D noise reduction and image enhancement algorithm. Currently the processor has been used in self-driving vehicles, and the road test performance has reached the industry leading level. (CN Beta, My Drivers, CCID Net)

Battery

OPPO’s 40W AirVOOC wireless charger is certified by Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). It supports the following power inputs – 9V 2A (18W), 5V 6A (30W), and 10V 6.5A (65W). The maximum power output is 40W. (Gizmo China, WPC, IT Home, Sina)

Memory

SK Hynix has announced the availability of the “PE8000” series, its newest and most advanced line-up of enterprise Solid State Drives (eSSDs). PE8010 and PE8030 are the Company’s first Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) SSDs supporting the PCIe Gen4 Interface. Both drives feature the Company’s 96-layer Triple-Level Cell (TLC) 4D NAND flash and an in-house controller. (CN Beta, Guru 3D, Block & Files)

Connectivity

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son predicts that 15 of the companies that the SoftBank Vision Fund has backed will go bankrupt. In addition to WeWork, the Vision Fund has backed dozens of startups including ByteDance, Uber, Doordash, and Slack. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Forbes)

OPPO has announced that it has conducted a VoNR call on one of its own commercial handsets with a MediaTek Dimensity 1000L chipset (with OPPO Reno3 5G) over a 5G SA network environment, provided by Ericsson. The VoNR has significantly lower latency, improved sound quality and picture quality, which will eventually lead to “an elevated overall experience for users”. (GSM Arena, VentureBeat, OPPO, JRJ)

Phone

OPPO introduced Reno series of smartphones which included both mid-range and high-end models in 2019. Brian Shen Yiren, the company’s Vice President and President of Global Marketing has officially announced the company spins off the high-end Reno Ace phone to be a series of its own by splitting it from Reno branding. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, Tencent)

According to Strategy Analytics, 2/3 have postponed a planned trip while 40% have delayed purchases of cars, furniture, major appliances. Smartphone and 5G are not immune from delayed purchasing in China—37% have delayed a new smartphone purchase and 32% delayed 5G adoption. (GizChina, Strategy Analytics, IT Home, 199IT)

According to App Annie, daily time spent in mobile grew across the world as the outbreak expanded in 1Q20. In China, the first country to deal with the impact of Coronavirus, daily time spent grew 30% to 5 hours per day on average from 2019. Italy, the next most affected market, had the second highest jump at 11%. Worldwide, average weekly time spent in apps and games on Android phones grew 20% year-over-year in 1Q20. (Android Headlines, App Annie)

Apple Music has informed independent record labels that it is launching a USD50M advance royalty fund to make sure that artists get paid amid the ongoing pandemic. (Mac Rumors, Rolling Stone, CN Beta)

Foxconn will make ventilators with U.S. firm Medtronic Plc to help patients afflicted by the coronavirus outbreak. Medtronic Chief Executive Officer Omar Ishrak has indicated that Foxconn’s Wisconsin plant would be used to make the ventilators.        (CN Beta, Gizmo China, Reuters)

Samsung has announced the launch of its 2020 Galaxy A-series lineup in the U.S. The lineup includes the Galaxy A01, Galaxy A11, Galaxy A21, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A51 5G, and Galaxy A71 5G. The Galaxy A51 5G and A71 5G are Samsung’s very first 5G-enabled mid-range phones. (Android Central, Engadget, Android Central)

TCL 10 series is fully revealed with specs: 10 Pro – 6.47” 1080×2340 FHD+ curved AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, rear quad 64MP-16MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 24MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, under display fingerprint, 4500mAh 18W, USD449 (later in 2Q20). 10 5G – 6.53” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, rear quad 64MP-8MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 4500mAh 18W, GBP399 (later in 2020). 10L – 6.53” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 4000mAh 10W, USD249 / EUR249 (2Q20). (Android Central, Liliputing, GSM Arena, Gizmo China, TCL, TCL, TCL, TCL)

Redmi 8A Pro (rebranded Redmi 8A Dual) is announced in Indonesia – 6.22” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 8MP, 2+16 / 3+32GB, Android 9.0, 5000mAh 18W, IDR1.549M (USD93) / IDR1.649M (USD99). (Android Headlines, Xiaomi, GSM Arena)

vivo Y50 is official in South East Asia – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ IPS HiD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, rear quad 13MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP maco-2MP depth + front 8MP, 8+128GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 5000mAh 18W, about USD250. (Facebook, GSM Arena, GizChina)

Wearables

Danish peripherals and gaming headset manufacturer SteelSeries has announced its acquisition of A-Volute, the independent developer of the Nahimic audio software. The Danish manufacturer is looking to take full advantage of A-Volutes’ experience to bolster its audio range, with its Arctis series already established in the gaming headset market. (CN Beta, AnandTech, VentureBeat, SteelSeries)

Home

Xiaomi’s new smart speaker patent includes schematics for the smart speaker with a cylindrical design. It suggests that the smart speaker will come with a 360-degree sound output and could include a touch-sensitive surface area which will enable users to interact with the device even when voice commands do not work. (Gizmo China, CN Beta)

Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft, the Indian Institute of Technology, and TCS Research (the R&D division of Tata Consultancy Services) describe an AI framework designed to help cities and regions make policy decisions about lockdowns, closures, and physical distancing in response to pandemics like COVID-19. They claim that because it learns policies automatically as a function of disease parameters like infectiousness, gestation period, duration of symptoms, probability of death, population density, and movement propensity, it is superior to the modeling tools that have so far been used. (VentureBeat, ARXIV, CN Beta)

Glassbox, which designs automated solutions to optimize web and mobile apps, has announced that it raised a USD40M funding round. CEO Yaron Morgenstern says it will be used to expand the company’s team globally and further enhance Glassbox’s existing products. (VentureBeat, Reuters, Glassbox)

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